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Elgin Databases


Wayne's Projects

A Two-Tone grade 345 "transit" movement

Elgin Watch Databases

Although it may require some digging, a lot of useful information can be found out about Elgin watches by using these databases. Right now, everything is geared toward experienced watch collectors, but even people who know very little about watches should be able to pick out some useful facts.

The Elgin Serial Number database was created by scanning and OCR'ing the 1950 serial number list. Then I had to go through and clean up the list by hand, changing 'O's to '0's, 'S's to '5's, and '11's to '0's etc. Then I wrote some code to do a bunch of sanity checks on the data (serial number runs should increase and not overlap, high grade numbers should appear early, etc.) Then I verified the runs that I found with the runs that Dennis Booth typed in by hand and resolved all discrepancies between the two databases. Next I compared the production totals by grade with the list created by John Miller in Roy Ehrhardt's "Elgin Watch Company" book. Next I typed in by hand which runs are marked with which name out of the 1896 material catalog. Finally, I have been checking the database against watches that I've seen on the net and adding information as I can find it.

The Elgin Grade Number database was typed in completely by hand from many sources, mostly for Elgin Material Catalogs dating back to 1898.

I believe this database is the most ACCURATE Elgin serial number list available anywhere, either computerized or on paper. As I mention here, I have found a fair number of errors in Elgin's own serial number lists.

I also believe that this database is the most COMPLETE serial number list available anywhere, either computerized or on paper. I have many runs recorded after the 1950 material catalog ends.

I have used the portions of the Elgin Master Records that I have in order to make this database more complete and more accurate. For example, only the master records tell you which serial numbers are grade 277. The master records tell you what all runs are actually grade 348's and which grade 164's are labelled Father Time. This is information that is now public and can be used by anyone.

While I'm not an expert, I believe the information on this page is correct. Please send suggestions and corrections to the webmaster.
This web site runs on 100% Open Source Software. This web page was last changed on 10/04/2002 at 00:52:18.